Saturday, February 21, 2009

Perspective shift

I’m not a sub-editor at the Daily Telegraph. But if I were, I might have rephrased the start of its lead story today:

Children allocated school places on 'roll of a dice'
Schools in a quarter of council areas are allocating places by lottery or "fair banding" – in which the school uses test results to deliberately select a proportion of pupils of poor ability.
The move could cause difficulties for affluent families who have dominated successful schools by buying houses within their catchment areas, often paying a premium of tens of thousands of pounds.

I would have put it this way:

Children allocated school places on ability to pay
A majority of schools are still not allocating places by lottery or "fair banding", preferring to stick with the system whereby affluent parents can buy their way into good catchment areas.
The lack of movement could continue to cause difficulties for poorer families who have been crowded out of successful schools by their inability to pay a premium of tens of thousands of pounds.

Then again, I guess the nice people at the Telegraph know their readership better than I do.

4 comments:

Chris said...

However, I'd wager their readership will be up in arms about using the plural dice as a singular.

Tom Freeman said...

Quite. And it's even based on a quote from the head of the National Grammar Schools Association, who you'd think would know better. Tsk, tsk.

Anonymous said...

"The move could cause difficulties for affluent families who have dominated successful schools by buying houses within their catchment areas, often paying a premium of tens of thousands of pounds."

Damn it, I was led to believe that by exerting my plutocratic power I could give my child an unfair advantage. Now I find this this is only the case in 75% of the country. I demand action!

Tom Freeman said...

Yes, it's a disgrace - your ability to lay the system is subject to a postcode lottery!